Tsitsernakaberd, Yerevan, Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex

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Subject:The Genocide Monument in Yerevan is a memorial complex dedicated to the memory of the one and one-half million Armenians who perished in the first genocide of the twentieth century, at the hands of the Turkish government as victims of the Armenian Genocide. (view image)
Type of Memorial:Exhibition, Library, Monumental Sculpture, Museum, Park
Placement:Several freestanding architectural & sculptural works are erect in a large park on a hill, which also houses other cultural and social building complexes. The specific genocide monument consists of an underground museum with library & archive sections; an axial path leading to the central area of the monument that is paralleled with a 100 meters by 3 meters basal wall with inscriptions of the names of the regions, towns and villages of Historic Western Armenia (the regions where the genocide occurred). From 1988-1990 cross-stones (khatchkars) were mounted in the vicinity of the Genocide Monument to commemorate the Armenians who were massacred in the 1980s in the Azeri cities of Sumgait, Kirovabad, and Baku. The central memorial structures consist of a circular area that shelters the eternal flame memorizing all the victims of the Genocide; it stands as the Memorial Sanctuary. The eternal flame is housed under 12 tall, inward-leaning basalt slabs forming a circle. The shape of these walls simulates traditional Armenian khatchkars. The level of the floor of the Genocide Monument is set at one and a half meters lower than the walkway. An arrow-shaped stele of granite, 44 meters high, reaches to the sky, symbolizing the survival and spiritual rebirth of the Armenian people. Partly split vertically by a deep crevice, this tower symbolizes the tragic and violent dispersion of the Armenian people, and at the same time, expresses the unity of the Armenian people. The museum and archival area that was built 30 years later, is on the same hill. It houses several large exhibition, administrative, engineering and technical spaces. The exhibition space is over 1,000 square meters. It occupies three indoor halls and one outdoor hall and a hallway. A basalt stone eight meters long and three meters wide lies on the floor of the outdoor hall, symbolizing the eternal memory of the victims of the Genocide and the unity of the Armenian people spread throughout the world. It also expresses the struggle between good and evil,light and darkness.
Physical Setting:The complex is located on top of a hill, which is the highest point of the park. The park is situated at the edge of the ‘old’ or ‘central’ section of the city of Yerevan.
Tourist Amenities:Yes
Map Designation:Mapped as “Tsitsernakaberd Park” or “Tsitsernakabert Monument Complex and Armenian Genocide Museum” Amenities located in the city.
Physical Condition:Very well preserved.
Location:Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Monument, Museum, and Institute
Yerevan, Armenia
Web Site:www.genocide-museum.am/eng/index.php
Proposal Date:1965
Design Date:1965 - 1967
Construction Began:1966/67
Construction Completed:1968
Dedication Date:April 24, 1968
Renovation Date:1990s
Redesign Date:1992-95
Prior Use of Site:Public park.
Development/Construction Process:On the day of Genocide commemoration, April 24, 1965, thousands of Armenians marched in an unofficial demonstration in Yerevan, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the massacres. The First Secretary of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Party, Zakov Zarobian refusing the use of force, appealed to the central authorities for concession to Armenian national sentiments. Eventually, Moscow sanctioned the design of a commemorative monument to the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. In 1968, after three years the third winner of a competition, organized by the local government, was accepted as the chosen project. Addition of Museum and Institute: Construction period: 1992-93 Opened: 1995
History of Ownership:Owned by the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic until 1991; owned by the Republic of Armenia after 1991.
Commemorative Activities:The museum and study center of the monument complex was designed and contracted after the independence of Armenia in 1991. The structure was inaugurated on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Genocide. Each year, since 1965, on the day of April 24, approximately 1 million individuals march up the hill and place flowers around the eternal flame in the monument. Since 1991, this has become an officially organized commemoration ceremony.
Notable Visitors:Suren Harutunian & Karen Demirjian, First Secretaries of Armenian Soviet Socialist Party (1970-1990); President Levon Ter Petrossian (1991-1997); President Robert Kocharian (1997-2000); His Holiness Garegin I Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians (1991-1998); His Holiness Garekin II Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians (1999-2000). Foreign dignitaries, including Alexander Lebed, Russia's former Secretary of the National Council (1997); US Senator Robert Dole (1997).
Additional Information:Armenian Library and Museum of America and Lavrenti Barsegyan, The Armenian Genocide. Watertown, MA: 1995.
Soviet architecture of today: 1960s-early 1970s. Leningrad: Aurora Art Publishers, 1975.
Armenian Assembly of America, Online Report (April 25, 1997)
Asparez & Asparez Online (April 997-2000)
Noyan Tapan. Yerevan (April 1995-2000)
Kidd, Kristen.,“Perpetual Reminders,” Armenian International Magazine
(April 1999), pp. 48-50.
85 Commémoration du Génocide des Arméniens. Publication du Comité uni pour la Commémoration du Génocide arménien. Montréal, 2000.
Editorial Broad of Armenian Encyclopedia. The Armenian Question. Yerevan: 1996.

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